In the last two months we’ve narrowed our focus and have a short list of priorities. The funding pipeline is coming together well. These things take time and we still have several hoops to jump through, but there’s very little uncertainty on what we have in front of us.
First of all, we had our second conference call with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This went well and we’re looking forward to another conversation in January to work on a specific grant proposal.
We’ve also talked to Knewton, a company that specializes in adaptive recommendation systems that specifically target how students learn. We both felt our two companies had a high potential for integrating services and research data. we’ll be following up with them soon.
We’ve also been talking to New Schools Venture Fund and once we get through the pilot phase, they may become a valuable partner.
Our next steps include usability testing in a few Chicago area schools and then the pilot in spring.
We do have one critical need as far as personnel is concerned. We’re looking for a seasoned academic research partner that studies how students learn and can guide is on the bigger picture. This person would probably work with our story development team and Knewton to determine the taxonomy of any given subject matter. That taxonomy would lead directly to the types of stories and story content we develop.
This has become a very interesting pivot to date. We’re looking forward to the results of our testing and pilot to see where Textfyre fits in the classroom.
One last thing. If you want to do a little usability testing for us, just send is an email and we’ll connect you with the current online application (as bare as it is).